Hyperpigmentation, also called “discoloration,” is a medical condition that can be caused due to causes like prediabetes, acne, melasma, sun exposure, and vitamin deficiencies. Discoloration around the mouth is termed perioral hyperpigmentation. Melasma is one of the types of hyperpigmentation caused due to pregnancy and hormonal changes. Home remedies can treat hyperpigmentation naturally, including lifestyle modifications, increased fluid intake, regular sunscreen, exfoliating skin, and vitamin serums.
Sometimes, it lightens without using any medication or serum, while sometimes, it needs to be properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.
Why am I getting hyperpigmentation around my mouth?
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the process that triggers melanin (color pigment of the body) production in the body, producing more melanin than normal, leading to discoloration on the skin’s exposed surface. The face and around the mouth (perioral hyperpigmentation) are the most commonly affected areas by hyperpigmentation, which can lead to discomfort.
The following listed are all the detailed causes of hyperpigmentation:
1. Sun exposure
Sun exposure (UV light) negatively affects the skin texture and increases the process of melanin production underlying the skin. UV light leaves the sun tan or patches on the skin, also called sun spots or age spots, after a long exposure. They are caused by the UV impact on melanocytes under the skin.
As per the article published by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), sun tanning or sunburn will affect the outermost layer, leaving the tan in the next 48 hours after the exposure.
Melasma is a skin condition comprised of marks caused during and after pregnancy, which can often include dark spots on the face and around the mouth, also called perioral hyperpigmentation.
Hormonal disturbances and changes during pregnancy cause melasma. Birth control hormone pills and any or all of the oral contraceptives can cause melasma and marks on the body or around the mouth. Most people get it on their cheeks, chin, nose bridge, forehead, and above the upper lip.
As per the research, due to the leading cause “pregnancy,” it’s obvious that it’s more common in women than men.
3. Vitamin deficiency
Deficiencies of vitamins can lead to certain effects in the body, including weakness, lethargy, and hyperpigmentation around the mouth or upper lips area.
As per the National Institute of Health, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 deficiency in the body leads to hyperpigmentation for longer periods of time until it is fully diagnosed and treated by the medications prescribed by the healthcare provider.
4. Side effects of the medication
Some medications and antibiotics prescribed for different infections can also cause discoloration and hyperpigmentation, specifically around the mouth. Examples include
- Minocycline (used to treat acne),
- Phenytoin (Anticonvulsants)
- Oral Contraceptives
Acne or any nodular pimple on the skin can turn into a scar or a spot after it leaves the skin. 41% of the adults suffer from acne and experience hyperpigmentation after the acne is gone. It is also one of the leading causes of hyperpigmentation and stubborn spots around the mouth, cheeks, and chin.
Acne is often caused due to age, liver or kidney problems, or hormonal changes. Acne hyperpigmentation can also be treated after the active acne is gone and only the hyperpigmentation is left.
6. Trauma/cuts to the skin
Traume or any type of cuts and lesions can also lead to scarring and spots on the skin after the injury or cut is healed. It can also result in hyperpigmentation and darkening of the area, which can be diagnosed and treated by topical creams and oral medications prescribed by the healthcare provider.
How can I reduce hyperpigmentation around my mouth naturally?
Hyperpigmentation and discoloration can be managed and treated by home remedies and formulations from the drug store. Keep in mind that you might be able to lighten the hyperpigmentation or dark spots are the area but will not be able to completely remove it until you get the correct diagnosis and treatment for it.
Some of the ways you can treat hyperpigmentation around your mouth naturally are as follows:
1. Change in diet and increase fluid intake
Changing your diet by including vitamin and protein-rich ingredients can change the texture and color of your skin. It can also reduce discoloration and hyperpigmentation to a greater extent.
Water and fluid intake can change how your skin looks and improve the hyperpigmentation texture of your skin.
2. Exfoliation of the skin
Exfoliating your skin with the right and natural scrubs can decrease your skin’s discoloration and improve its texture. Keep in mind to never choose harsh scrubs for exfoliation as they might irritate the skin and lead to extreme dehydration or peeling.
3. Skin serums for hyperpigmentation
Different serums with different brands are also available for the lightening of hyperpigmentation and dark spots on the skin, especially around the mouth and upper lips. Examples include Vitamin C serums and toners that help improve the texture and appearance of hyperpigmented skin.
NOTE: It’s important to note that, with all the serums available in the market, which can have different active ingredients in them, it’s crucial to do the patch and allergy test on the small part of your wrist skin. Use only if it suits your skin type.
4. Sunscreen usage
Using sunscreen can protect the skin from UV exposure, sunburn, suntan, and all the damage that can be done to the skin. It is also said that besides just UV exposure, sunscreen will protect your skin from the rays of screentime; in the long run, it will give you protection against hyperpigmentation and will improve skin texture.
How do you get rid of hyperpigmentation around your mouth with medications?
Hyperpigmentation can be of different types in severity and can be treated by the medications prescribed by the healthcare provider.
The following are the most commonly prescribed and effective medications for hyperpigmentation.
Hydroquinone in 2%, 4%, and 8% topical preparations is available in the market and is prescribed by the healthcare provider for hyperpigmentation. Some of the other medications, like azelaic acid, chemical peels, retinoids, and laser therapy, are used for dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
How long does it take to get rid of hyperpigmentation?
It depends on the underlying condition as well as the compliance you show regarding the treatment and lifestyle changes to get rid of hyperpigmentation. For Hydroquinone, it will take three months maximum for the hyperpigmentation to treat, after which the diagnosis will be needed again for further treatment if it doesn’t get treated by hydroquinone.
Consult a Doctor
Consulting a healthcare provider will help get you the correct diagnosis and causes of hyperpigmentation around the mouth or on the face. Natural remedies can help you get control of the dark spots, but they can’t be treated totally.
FAQs about hyperpigmentation
Usually, hyperpigmentation takes some time to go away, according to an underlying condition’s severity and time period. If you are treating it with only home and natural remedies, it’s good to get yourself checked, diagnosed, and treated by the healthcare provider to get the results.
It is not yet proven that the hyperpigmentation won’t come again if treated once. It can and can not depend on its underlying condition and cause. It’s good to get the medical diagnosis and discuss your condition with a healthcare provider to get a clear idea of it.
Melasma is one of the types of hyperpigmentation caused due to hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy while hyperpigmentation is a general term for the increased pigment and texture of the skin.it is caused due to diverse reasons, including increased sun exposure, hormonal changes, and vitamin deficiency.